UFF-FAU

United Faculty of Florida-Florida Atlantic University Chapter

  • Mar
    3

    Big job ahead at FAU: New president faces several challengesFlorida Atlantic University’s new president, John Kelly, who has officially begun work, will be paid at least $440,000 his first year, in addition to benefits and retirement compensation, bringing the whole package to a minimum $500,000.

    The FAU Board of Trustees approved Kelly’s five-year contract February 18th, which includes $400,000 base salary and a $40,000 sign-on bonus.

    He is also eligible for a performance bonus of up to $40,000 a year. An additional $60,000 a year will be set aside for retirement compensation.

    Read article at Sun-Sentinel.com

    Download and view PDF of President John Kelly’s Contract

     

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  • Feb
    25

    UFF-FAU is pleased to present a new study commissioned from the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University. The report, “How FAU Prioritizes Its Money,” locates disturbing trends in Florida Atlantic University’s personnel and salary-related budgeting priorities. Taken as a whole, these suggest a developing inability for the institution to adequately service the academic needs of its growing student body.

    For example, between 2006 and 2012 Florida resident-students choosing to attend FAU are paying more than 60% more in tuition. At the same time the student-to-faculty ratio rose by an astounding 19% while administrative positions grew by 12%. In the same period faculty salaries have also decreased, making it more difficult to attract and retain capable instructional and research staff.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Sep
    8

    September 8, 2012. President Saunders panned for “micromanaging” university, disrespect of faculty, lack of transparency and dubious approaches to budget crisis, Provost Claiborne faulted for poor communication with faculty, cutbacks in teaching, and “a swirling vortex of comically stupid [credentialing] decisions.”

    Processing of the 2011-2012 UFF-FAU Faculty Survey on Administrator Performance is now complete. A total of 189 responses were received from faculty at all colleges and FAU campuses. An overall summary of faculty members’ written comments is provided below.

    Word-for-word faculty responses on specific administrators have been published in a password-protected area of the website. Faculty will be provided with a password via email to access these.

    Overview and summary of written comments.

    President Mary J. Saunders received 144 comments, most of them critical of her actions. A strong critique involved the micromanaging of the university and a lack of respect for faculty. One faculty member comments: “She seems very distant from the faculty and speaks in generalities that are very difficult to decipher. She needs to make more of an effort connecting with and explaining herself to faculty, as well as listening more effectively.” Another routine critique was a lack of transparency regarding resources and the academic processes of the university. Faculty have also questioned the viability of the growth of university. As one faculty member writes, “The idea that we can grow our way out of the budget crisis is suspect. Adding students without investing in tenure-line faculty and infrastructure, as Dr. Saunders appears to be doing, degrades the quality of education for our students.” Even sympathetic comments still note she should “consider reducing the salaries and/or numbers of senior administrators on her team” since most faculty, as we will see in the other survey comments, have no idea of the purpose behind many of these new administrative lines.

    Provost Brenda Claiborne received 121 comments. The problematic summer policy dominated many comments and led to a general negative opinion of the provost’s actions. As one faculty members observes, “I had formed no strong opinion until the summer fiasco. The one-size-fits-all plan is illogical and ineffective. This is the first time in my 35 years here that top-down plan has occurred. It makes no sense.” Similarly, another faculty member warns, “Do everything necessary to AVOID cutting classes in a university. It is as if a shoe shop stopped selling shoes.” This policy, according to many faculty, seems to stem from a lack of communication and interaction with faculty. One person notes, “The Provost seems like a very nice person. But she has done a terrible job of communicating with faculty and as a result, her decision-making seems arbitrary and heavy-handed. The debacle around course sizes is only the latest example.” Also, the handling of credentialing was another consistent critique. One person notes, “Having to explain to the provost the basics of a variety of disciplines and how they are run is embarrassing for both the one doing the explanation and the one having to receive it. The appearance of dictatorial actions and coercion has done nothing for the moral[e] of the University.” Another comment: “The accreditation process has already turned into a swirling vortex of comically stupid decisions.” Another comment: “I am also surprised at the level of rigidness in interpreting the SACs directives towards credentialing. When one pulls up the SACS description of credentialing, it is clear that the university is ignoring several paragraphs of discussion regarding appropriate credentials in order to enforce FAU’s mission, whatever that is.” Yet another: “Follow SACS guidelines in the manner that every SACS accredited institution does.” The comments continue. As you know, UFF-FAU has written a report on SACS and requested a meeting with the provost and those in charge of SACS. We are still pressing for a reply and meeting.

    Associate Provost of Northern Campuses Eliah Watlington received around two dozen comments. In general, no one knows who he is and questions the relevancy of the position.

    Associate Provost of Broward Campuses Anthony Abbate received nine comments mostly noting that he needs to be more assertive for faculty rights and “build a stronger sense of identity and community among Broward faculty and students.”

    Interim Vice-President of Research Barry Rosson received 90 comments, all uniformly negative. Many people commented about the seemingly irrelevancy of the graduate college and the endless, meaningless paperwork it blossoms. One faculty member cautions: “Stop building a bureaucratic empire that does nothing but generate paperwork for those of us working in the graduate program.” Another faculty member suggests that Rosson “has made an unbelievable mess out of the Graduate College, screwing-up even the most basic tasks. The labyrinthine and Byzantine forms are an obvious example.” Another faculty encourages: “The Graduate College should be eliminated. It duplicates services. It is unfriendly to students and faculty.”

    Interim Dean of Arts and Letters Heather Coltman received 84 mixed responses. The positive comments suggest that she is doing her best during a very bad financial crisis and a hostile state legislature. One faculty member writes, “She is doing a great job despite these ridiculous financial restrictions.” The negative comments suggest that Dean Coltman lacks the needed experience to function as a Dean and badly represents faculty interests. One faculty member writes, “Interim Dean Coltman is inexperienced, and during her time as dean has been entirely ineffective . . . She has poor judgment, does not understand the academic programs in the college, and has made a series of disastrous decisions.”

    Dean of Undergraduate Studies Ed Pratt received 27 mixed comments. On the positive side faculty believe he “does the best he can in these unsettled times.” On the critical end, faculty believe he needs to show more initiative in “addressing the needs of effective undergraduate education.”

    Dean of the College of Science Gary Perry received 16 comments. Many view him as one of FAU’s best deans. The main negative comments stated that he “should fight for the faculty and students” more.

    Dean of Nursing Marlaine Smith received 8 comments. About half complimented her as an “outstanding, supportive, and generous” dean. Two comments suggested that Smith be more visible among faculty and better listen to them.

    Dean Rosalyn Carter of the College for Design and Social Inquiry received 4 comments. They suggest that Carter act in a more professional manner and involve faculty more in decision-making processes.

    Dean of Business Denis Coates received 7 comments. They generally suggest that Coates needs to work on better managing various departments and improving faculty governance. They also suggest that he needs to better his communication skills.

    Interim Dean of Engineering Mohammad Ilyas received 6 largely positive comments. They suggest he is an excellent leader and would like to see him become permanent dean.

    University Libraries Dean William Miller received 3 comments. They suggest that he needs to be more directly involved in decision-making processes.

    Dean of Education Valerie Bristor received 23 comments. They generally suggest that she needs to better manage the departments and their chairs. Some comments suggest that she was better suited in the role of associate dean.

    Principal Tammy Ferguson of the Henderson School received 7 comments. They were generally positive, but a few suggested that she better communicate with the faculty.

    Dean Jeffrey Buller of the Honors College received 7 comments. They commented on his general absence on the Jupiter campus and the overall resulting demoralization of the college.

    Quantitative Breakdown of Administrator Survey Data

    Link to:

    Heather Coltman, Interim Dean, College of Arts and Letters

    Interim Dean Heather Coltman upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    26 37% 5-Strongly Agree
    7 10% 4-Agree
    10 14% 3-Neutral
    8 11% 2-Disagree
    18 26% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Interim Dean Coltman makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    21 30% 5-Strongly Agree
    9 13% 4-Agree
    7 10% 3-Neutral
    8 11% 2-Disagree
    19 27% 1-Strongly Disagree
    5 7% 0-Do Not Know
    Interim Dean Coltman uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    23 33% 5-Strongly Agree
    10 14% 4-Agree
    5 7% 3-Neutral
    11 16% 2-Disagree
    17 24% 1-Strongly Disagree
    3 4% 0-Do Not Know
    Interim Dean Coltman distributes discretionary money fairly.
    10 14% 5-Strongly Agree
    6 9% 4-Agree
    3 4% 3-Neutral
    6 9% 2-Disagree
    15 21% 1-Strongly Disagree
    29 41% 0-Do Not Know
    Interim Dean Coltman is a good administrator.
    20 29% 5-Strongly Agree
    10 14% 4-Agree
    9 13% 3-Neutral
    9 13% 2-Disagree
    17 24% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 1% 0-Do Not Know
    Interim Dean Coltman is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    26 37% 5-Strongly Agree
    8 11% 4-Agree
    4 6% 3-Neutral
    6 9% 2-Disagree
    22 31% 1-Strongly Disagree
    2 3% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Interim Dean Coltman is:
    22 31% 5-Excellent
    11 16% 4-Above Average
    6 9% 3-Average
    8 11% 2-Below Average
    22 31% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

    top

    J. Dennis Coates, Dean, College of Business

    Dean J. DENNIS COATES consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    3 17% 5-Strongly Agree
    9 50% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    1 6% 2-Disagree
    4 22% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 6% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean COATES upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    4 22% 5-Strongly Agree
    7 39% 4-Agree
    4 22% 3-Neutral
    1 6% 2-Disagree
    2 11% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean COATES makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    3 17% 5-Strongly Agree
    7 39% 4-Agree
    1 6% 3-Neutral
    3 17% 2-Disagree
    4 22% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean COATES uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    4 22% 5-Strongly Agree
    5 28% 4-Agree
    2 11% 3-Neutral
    1 6% 2-Disagree
    4 22% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 6% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean COATES distributes discretionary money fairly.
    3 17% 5-Strongly Agree
    5 28% 4-Agree
    3 17% 3-Neutral
    1 6% 2-Disagree
    4 22% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 6% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean COATES is a good administrator.
    4 22% 5-Strongly Agree
    7 39% 4-Agree
    2 11% 3-Neutral
    1 6% 2-Disagree
    4 22% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean COATES is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    4 22% 5-Strongly Agree
    4 22% 4-Agree
    3 17% 3-Neutral
    3 17% 2-Disagree
    3 17% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean COATES is:
    4 22% 5-Excellent
    6 33% 4-Above Average
    2 11% 3-Average
    1 6% 2-Below Average
    5 28% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

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    Rosalyn Carter, Dean, College of Design and Social Inquiry

    Dean ROSALYN CARTER consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 14% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    3 43% 2-Disagree
    3 43% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean CARTER upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    1 14% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 14% 4-Agree
    3 43% 3-Neutral
    1 14% 2-Disagree
    1 14% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean CARTER makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 14% 4-Agree
    1 14% 3-Neutral
    2 29% 2-Disagree
    3 43% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean CARTER uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 29% 4-Agree
    2 29% 3-Neutral
    2 29% 2-Disagree
    1 14% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean CARTER distributes discretionary money fairly.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    3 43% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    3 43% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 14% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean CARTER is a good administrator.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 14% 4-Agree
    2 29% 3-Neutral
    1 14% 2-Disagree
    3 43% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean CARTER is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 29% 4-Agree
    3 43% 3-Neutral
    2 29% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean CARTER is:
    0 0% 5-Excellent
    2 29% 4-Above Average
    1 14% 3-Average
    0 0% 2-Below Average
    4 57% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

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    Valerie Bristor, College of Education

    Dean VALERIE BRISTOR consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    2 7% 5-Strongly Agree
    9 30% 4-Agree
    8 27% 3-Neutral
    4 13% 2-Disagree
    7 23% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BRISTOR upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    2 7% 5-Strongly Agree
    5 17% 4-Agree
    9 30% 3-Neutral
    6 20% 2-Disagree
    7 23% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 3% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BRISTOR makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    3 10% 5-Strongly Agree
    7 23% 4-Agree
    8 27% 3-Neutral
    5 17% 2-Disagree
    5 17% 1-Strongly Disagree
    2 7% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BRISTOR uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    4 13% 5-Strongly Agree
    9 30% 4-Agree
    8 27% 3-Neutral
    3 10% 2-Disagree
    4 13% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 3% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BRISTOR distributes discretionary money fairly.
    1 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    7 23% 4-Agree
    7 23% 3-Neutral
    5 17% 2-Disagree
    5 17% 1-Strongly Disagree
    5 17% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BRISTOR is a good administrator.
    1 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    4 13% 4-Agree
    11 37% 3-Neutral
    10 33% 2-Disagree
    2 7% 1-Strongly Disagree
    2 7% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BRISTOR is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    1 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 10% 4-Agree
    6 20% 3-Neutral
    12 40% 2-Disagree
    7 23% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 3% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean BRISTOR is:
    2 7% 5-Excellent
    0 0% 4-Above Average
    14 47% 3-Average
    9 30% 2-Below Average
    5 17% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

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    Mohammad Ilyas, Interim Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science

    Dean Mohammad Ilyas upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    4 44% 5-Strongly Agree
    4 44% 4-Agree
    1 11% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Ilyas makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    4 44% 5-Strongly Agree
    5 56% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Ilyas uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    4 44% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 33% 4-Agree
    1 11% 3-Neutral
    1 11% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Ilyas distributes discretionary money fairly.
    3 33% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 22% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    4 44% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Ilyas is a good administrator.
    4 44% 5-Strongly Agree
    4 44% 4-Agree
    1 11% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Ilyas is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    4 44% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 22% 4-Agree
    2 22% 3-Neutral
    1 11% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean Ilyas is:
    4 44% 5-Excellent
    4 44% 4-Above Average
    0 0% 3-Average
    1 11% 2-Below Average
    0 0% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

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    Florida Atlantic University Schools

    Principal/Director Ferguson consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    7 58% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 17% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    2 17% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Principal/Director Ferguson upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    9 75% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 17% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Principal/Director Ferguson makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    7 58% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    2 17% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    2 17% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 8% 0-Do Not Know
    Principal/Director Ferguson uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    7 58% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 17% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    2 17% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Principal/Director Ferguson distributes discretionary money fairly.
    6 50% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 17% 4-Agree
    1 8% 3-Neutral
    2 17% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 8% 0-Do Not Know
    Principal/Director Ferguson is a good administrator.
    9 75% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 8% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Principal/Director Ferguson is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    9 75% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    1 8% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Principal/Director Ferguson is:
    9 75% 5-Excellent
    1 8% 4-Above Average
    1 8% 3-Average
    0 0% 2-Below Average
    1 8% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Assistant Dean GLENN THOMAS consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 25% 4-Agree
    1 8% 3-Neutral
    2 17% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    2 17% 0-Do Not Know
    Assistant Dean THOMAS upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    5 42% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 25% 4-Agree
    1 8% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Assistant Dean THOMAS makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 25% 4-Agree
    3 25% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 8% 0-Do Not Know
    Assistant Dean THOMAS uses faculty governance processes to make decisions.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 25% 4-Agree
    4 33% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 8% 0-Do Not Know
    Assistant Dean THOMAS distributes discretionary money fairly.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 25% 4-Agree
    3 25% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 8% 0-Do Not Know
    Assistant Dean THOMAS is a good administrator.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    6 50% 4-Agree
    1 8% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Assistant Dean THOMAS is an effective leader who promotes the school.
    3 25% 5-Strongly Agree
    4 33% 4-Agree
    1 8% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    OVERALL, Assistant Dean THOMAS is:
    2 17% 5-Excellent
    5 42% 4-Above Average
    2 17% 3-Average
    1 8% 2-Below Average
    0 0% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Bristor consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    5 42% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Bristor upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 8% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    1 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    3 25% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Bristor makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 8% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    4 33% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Bristor uses faculty governance processes to make decisions.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 17% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    1 8% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    3 25% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Bristor distributes discretionary money fairly.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    5 42% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Bristor is a good administrator.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    2 17% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    4 33% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Bristor is an effective leader who promotes the school.
    1 8% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    2 17% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    4 33% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean Bristor is:
    1 8% 5-Excellent
    0 0% 4-Above Average
    1 8% 3-Average
    1 8% 2-Below Average
    0 0% 1-Poor
    4 33% 0-Do Not Know

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    Barry Rosson, Graduate College

    Graduate College Dean Barry Rosson consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    3 2% 5-Strongly Agree
    8 5% 4-Agree
    24 16% 3-Neutral
    31 20% 2-Disagree
    50 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    36 24% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Rosson upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    11 7% 5-Strongly Agree
    18 12% 4-Agree
    25 16% 3-Neutral
    26 17% 2-Disagree
    34 22% 1-Strongly Disagree
    38 25% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Rosson uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    3 2% 5-Strongly Agree
    11 7% 4-Agree
    21 14% 3-Neutral
    33 22% 2-Disagree
    44 29% 1-Strongly Disagree
    40 26% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Rosson is a good administrator.
    5 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    9 6% 4-Agree
    33 22% 3-Neutral
    25 16% 2-Disagree
    43 28% 1-Strongly Disagree
    37 24% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Rosson effectively leads University Graduate education programs and faculty.
    6 4% 5-Strongly Agree
    11 7% 4-Agree
    32 21% 3-Neutral
    23 15% 2-Disagree
    45 30% 1-Strongly Disagree
    32 21% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Rosson competently administers Graduate College operations.
    6 4% 5-Strongly Agree
    11 7% 4-Agree
    30 20% 3-Neutral
    23 15% 2-Disagree
    42 28% 1-Strongly Disagree
    40 26% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean Rosson is:
    6 4% 5-Excellent
    6 4% 4-Above Average
    33 22% 3-Average
    23 15% 2-Below Average
    47 31% 1-Poor
    36 24% 0-Do Not Know

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    Jeffrey Buller, Dean, Honors College

    Dean JEFFREY BULLER consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 50% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    1 17% 2-Disagree
    2 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BULLER upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    1 17% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 50% 4-Agree
    0 0% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    2 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BULLER makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 17% 4-Agree
    1 17% 3-Neutral
    1 17% 2-Disagree
    3 50% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BULLER uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 33% 4-Agree
    1 17% 3-Neutral
    1 17% 2-Disagree
    2 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BULLER distributes discretionary money fairly.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 33% 4-Agree
    1 17% 3-Neutral
    1 17% 2-Disagree
    2 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BULLER is a good administrator.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 17% 4-Agree
    1 17% 3-Neutral
    1 17% 2-Disagree
    2 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean BULLER is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    0 0% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    2 33% 3-Neutral
    2 33% 2-Disagree
    2 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean BULLER is:
    0 0% 5-Excellent
    1 17% 4-Above Average
    2 33% 3-Average
    0 0% 2-Below Average
    3 50% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

    top

    William Miller, Dean, University Libraries

    Dean William Miller upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    1 33% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 33% 4-Agree
    1 33% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Miller makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    1 33% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    1 33% 3-Neutral
    1 33% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Miller uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    1 33% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    1 33% 3-Neutral
    1 33% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Miller distributes discretionary money fairly.
    1 33% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    1 33% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    1 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Miller is a good administrator.
    1 33% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 33% 4-Agree
    1 33% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Miller is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    1 33% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 33% 4-Agree
    1 33% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean Miller is:
    1 33% 5-Excellent
    1 33% 4-Above Average
    1 33% 3-Average
    0 0% 2-Below Average
    0 0% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

    David J. Bjorkman, Dean, College of Medicine

    No Results

    top

    Marlaine Smith, Dean, College of Nursing

    Dean Marlaine Smith upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    5 63% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 13% 4-Agree
    1 13% 3-Neutral
    1 13% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Smith makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    1 13% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 38% 4-Agree
    3 38% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    1 13% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Smith uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    2 25% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 38% 4-Agree
    2 25% 3-Neutral
    1 13% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Smith distributes discretionary money fairly.
    2 25% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 13% 4-Agree
    2 25% 3-Neutral
    1 13% 2-Disagree
    1 13% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 13% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Smith is a good administrator.
    2 25% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 38% 4-Agree
    2 25% 3-Neutral
    1 13% 2-Disagree
    0 0% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Smith is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    3 38% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 25% 4-Agree
    2 25% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    1 13% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean Smith is:
    2 25% 5-Excellent
    3 38% 4-Above Average
    2 25% 3-Average
    1 13% 2-Below Average
    0 0% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

    top

    Gary Perry, Dean, College of Science

    Dean Gary Perry upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    12 50% 5-Strongly Agree
    5 21% 4-Agree
    2 8% 3-Neutral
    4 17% 2-Disagree
    1 4% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Perry makes personnel decisions in a professional, unbiased manner.
    10 42% 5-Strongly Agree
    4 17% 4-Agree
    5 21% 3-Neutral
    3 13% 2-Disagree
    2 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Perry uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    7 29% 5-Strongly Agree
    7 29% 4-Agree
    3 13% 3-Neutral
    3 13% 2-Disagree
    1 4% 1-Strongly Disagree
    3 13% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Perry distributes discretionary money fairly.
    4 17% 5-Strongly Agree
    6 25% 4-Agree
    1 4% 3-Neutral
    2 8% 2-Disagree
    4 17% 1-Strongly Disagree
    7 29% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Perry is a good administrator.
    11 46% 5-Strongly Agree
    4 17% 4-Agree
    4 17% 3-Neutral
    2 8% 2-Disagree
    2 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    1 4% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Perry is an effective leader who promotes the college/unit.
    13 54% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 13% 4-Agree
    2 8% 3-Neutral
    3 13% 2-Disagree
    3 13% 1-Strongly Disagree
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean Perry is:
    11 46% 5-Excellent
    3 13% 4-Above Average
    4 17% 3-Average
    3 13% 2-Below Average
    3 13% 1-Poor
    0 0% 0-Do Not Know

    top

    Edward Pratt, Dean, Undergraduate Studies

    Undergraduate Studies Dean Edward Pratt consults faculty/staff before making important decisions.
    16 11% 5-Strongly Agree
    33 23% 4-Agree
    20 14% 3-Neutral
    23 16% 2-Disagree
    12 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    42 29% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Pratt upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    25 17% 5-Strongly Agree
    33 22% 4-Agree
    29 20% 3-Neutral
    13 9% 2-Disagree
    12 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    35 24% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Pratt uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    20 14% 5-Strongly Agree
    29 20% 4-Agree
    21 14% 3-Neutral
    13 9% 2-Disagree
    10 7% 1-Strongly Disagree
    52 36% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Pratt is a good administrator.
    21 15% 5-Strongly Agree
    34 24% 4-Agree
    26 18% 3-Neutral
    14 10% 2-Disagree
    10 7% 1-Strongly Disagree
    39 27% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Pratt effectively leads undergraduate programs and faculty.
    20 14% 5-Strongly Agree
    33 23% 4-Agree
    24 16% 3-Neutral
    16 11% 2-Disagree
    12 8% 1-Strongly Disagree
    41 28% 0-Do Not Know
    Dean Pratt competently administers Undergraduate Studies operations.
    23 16% 5-Strongly Agree
    34 23% 4-Agree
    20 14% 3-Neutral
    17 12% 2-Disagree
    9 6% 1-Strongly Disagree
    44 30% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Dean Pratt is:
    22 15% 5-Excellent
    32 22% 4-Above Average
    27 19% 3-Average
    13 9% 2-Below Average
    11 8% 1-Poor
    39 27% 0-Do Not Know

    top

    Anthony Abbatte, Associate Provost of the Broward Campuses (Answers provided by faculty from the Broward Campuses.)

    Associate Provost of Broward Campuses Anthony Abbatte is a good administrator.
    1 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    4 10% 4-Agree
    9 23% 3-Neutral
    1 3% 2-Disagree
    1 3% 1-Strongly Disagree
    23 59% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Abbatte uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    1 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 5% 4-Agree
    5 14% 3-Neutral
    1 3% 2-Disagree
    2 5% 1-Strongly Disagree
    26 70% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Abbatte keeps faculty informed about decisions.
    1 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 10% 4-Agree
    7 17% 3-Neutral
    1 14% 2-Disagree
    6 21% 1-Strongly Disagree
    16 34% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Abbatte ensures that campus fiscal resources are appropriately allotted and expended.
    2 6% 5-Strongly Agree
    0 0% 4-Agree
    5 15% 3-Neutral
    0 0% 2-Disagree
    3 9% 1-Strongly Disagree
    23 70% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Abbatte is competent in overseeing daily campus operations.
    1 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 3% 4-Agree
    4 13% 3-Neutral
    2 6% 2-Disagree
    2 6% 1-Strongly Disagree
    22 69% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Abbatte is an effective leader who promotes the development of the campus
    2 6% 5-Strongly Agree
    1 3% 4-Agree
    5 15% 3-Neutral
    2 6% 2-Disagree
    2 6% 1-Strongly Disagree
    21 64% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Associate Provost Abbatte is:
    1 3% 5-Excellent
    1 3% 4-Above Average
    6 18% 3-Average
    2 6% 2-Below Average
    2 6% 1-Poor
    21 63% 0-Do Not Know

    top

    Eliah Watlington, Associate Provost of the Northern Campuses (Answers provided by faculty from the Northern Campuses.)

    Associate Provost of Northern Campuses Eliah Watlington is a good administrator.
    4 14% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 7% 4-Agree
    4 14% 3-Neutral
    2 7% 2-Disagree
    4 14% 1-Strongly Disagree
    13 45% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Watlington uses faculty governance processes to make decisions in a collegial manner.
    2 7% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 10% 4-Agree
    4 14% 3-Neutral
    3 10% 2-Disagree
    2 7% 1-Strongly Disagree
    15 52% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Watlington keeps faculty informed about decisions.
    1 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 10% 4-Agree
    5 17% 3-Neutral
    4 14% 2-Disagree
    6 21% 1-Strongly Disagree
    10 34% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Watlington ensures that campus fiscal resources are appropriately allotted and expended.
    2 7% 5-Strongly Agree
    3 10% 4-Agree
    3 10% 3-Neutral
    3 10% 2-Disagree
    3 10% 1-Strongly Disagree
    15 52% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Watlington is competent in overseeing daily campus operations.
    2 7% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 7% 4-Agree
    3 11% 3-Neutral
    4 15% 2-Disagree
    3 11% 1-Strongly Disagree
    13 48% 0-Do Not Know
    Associate Provost Watlington is an effective leader who promotes the development of the campus
    3 11% 5-Strongly Agree
    2 7% 4-Agree
    1 4% 3-Neutral
    6 21% 2-Disagree
    5 18% 1-Strongly Disagree
    11 39% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Associate Provost Watlington is:
    2 7% 5-Excellent
    2 7% 4-Above Average
    2 7% 3-Average
    7 24% 2-Below Average
    5 17% 1-Poor
    11 38% 0-Do Not Know

    top

    Brenda Claiborne, University Provost

    Provost Brenda Claiborne is a good administrator.
    9 5% 5-Strongly Agree
    10 6% 4-Agree
    42 24% 3-Neutral
    36 21% 2-Disagree
    52 30% 1-Strongly Disagree
    26 15% 0-Do Not Know
    Provost Claiborne uses faculty governance processes to make decisions.
    6 3% 5-Strongly Agree
    9 5% 4-Agree
    32 18% 3-Neutral
    34 20% 2-Disagree
    64 37% 1-Strongly Disagree
    29 17% 0-Do Not Know
    Provost Claiborne keeps faculty informed about decisions.
    10 6% 5-Strongly Agree
    23 14% 4-Agree
    32 19% 3-Neutral
    30 18% 2-Disagree
    56 34% 1-Strongly Disagree
    14 8% 0-Do Not Know
    Provost Claiborne makes sure that Vice-Presidents and Deans make fair decisions.
    4 2% 5-Strongly Agree
    6 4% 4-Agree
    30 18% 3-Neutral
    20 12% 2-Disagree
    55 32% 1-Strongly Disagree
    55 32% 0-Do Not Know
    Provost Claiborne upholds academic standards and maintains a scholarly atmosphere.
    10 6% 5-Strongly Agree
    20 12% 4-Agree
    38 22% 3-Neutral
    30 18% 2-Disagree
    48 28% 1-Strongly Disagree
    24 14% 0-Do Not Know
    Provost Claiborne is an effective leader who promotes the development of the University.
    8 5% 5-Strongly Agree
    10 6% 4-Agree
    32 19% 3-Neutral
    34 20% 2-Disagree
    59 35% 1-Strongly Disagree
    28 16% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, Provost Claiborne is:
    9 5% 5-Excellent
    8 5% 4-Above Average
    39 23% 3-Average
    30 18% 2-Below Average
    59 35% 1-Poor
    26 15% 0-Do Not Know

    top

    Mary Jane Saunders, University President

    President Mary Jane Saunders makes sure that administrators make decisions fairly and in the best interests of the University.
    11 6% 5-Strongly Agree
    32 19% 4-Agree
    35 20% 3-Neutral
    35 20% 2-Disagree
    45 26% 1-Strongly Disagree
    14 8% 0-Do Not Know
    President Saunders makes decisions that are in the best interests of the faculty and professional staff.
    13 7% 5-Strongly Agree
    18 10% 4-Agree
    38 22% 3-Neutral
    44 25% 2-Disagree
    57 33% 1-Strongly Disagree
    5 3% 0-Do Not Know
    President Saunders upholds academic standards and encourages a scholarly atmosphere.
    21 12% 5-Strongly Agree
    40 23% 4-Agree
    36 21% 3-Neutral
    24 14% 2-Disagree
    48 28% 1-Strongly Disagree
    5 3% 0-Do Not Know
    President Saunders is an effective leader who promotes the development of the University.
    24 14% 5-Strongly Agree
    37 22% 4-Agree
    34 20% 3-Neutral
    22 13% 2-Disagree
    51 29% 1-Strongly Disagree
    5 3% 0-Do Not Know
    Overall, President Saunders is:
    13 7% 5-Excellent
    36 21% 4-Above Average
    41 24% 3-Average
    29 17% 2-Below Average
    50 29% 1-Poor
    5 3% 0-Do Not Know

    Comments Off

  • May
    14

    May 14, 2012. The faculty protest in late April was a last resort after the non-responsiveness of FAU administrators. What did we achieve?

    First of all, I would thank all faculty and staff who participated in the summer teaching protest held on April 18. As you all know, the protest just didn’t concern itself with summer teaching, but more importantly the way in which faculty have been systematically excluded from most decision-making processes recently implemented by the upper administration. Only after the fact is faculty input solicited. We are hoping as a result of such negative publicity that the administration will start implementing policies where faculty have been an integral part from the inception. I will be meeting with the provost later this month to discuss this problem and see how we can move forward regarding this.

    The union doesn’t take protesting lightly. We have attempted to use other more formal channels– consultation, meeting with the upper administration through more informal settings, asking questions during faculty assemblies and the senate, but felt that our concerns were not being taken seriously. As a result, we felt that we had no option other than focusing the public eye on the ways in which faculty, students, and staff feel how that the university has been mismanaged.  In this effort we were successful.  In addition to attracting at least seventy faculty, staff and students to our protest rally on the 18th, and helping students publicize their own earlier protest rally, we received good publicity in a variety of media.   See the links to local media in previous posts on the protests here at uff-fau.org.

    The results were  productive:

    1)      We finally received a belated memo from the administration on April  10 regarding the rationale for the implementation of summer policy.

    2)      Administrators started to reinstitute courses more promptly.

    3)      The administration publicly acknowledged that the implementation of the summer policy was misguided.

    4)      After repeated calls by the union since Fall 2011 for a Town Hall Budget meeting, the upper administration finally held one. The result  was far from satisfactory. Although we would much rather have had the President and the Provost directly fielding questions, the meeting at  least provided a public forum where faculty could directly address some of their concerns and judge for themselves the adequacy of the responses.

    But of course the proof is in the proverbial pudding. We’ll see how future administrative policies are made and implemented and if faculty governance and knowledge is respected. We understand that FAU has been placed in a difficult economic situation because of the hostility by many in the state legislature in regards toward public education.

    This damage has been compounded by misguided policies on the local level that seem distinctly out of touch with faculty concerns and expertise and thus destructive of some core goals of the university, its discipline-specific teaching and research programs. But for now we look to the future by attempting to establish a more  functional and balanced relationship with the upper administration. As you know, the union provides a forum for the only independent collective voice of the faculty. But only faculty can make this voice be adequately heard not only by joining the union, but also by becoming more involved in it.

    The union repeatedly and rigorously addresses issues that many faculty members articulate to one another but might be uncomfortable pronouncing on their own to the administration.  But the union gives you an independent, collective  voice across department, college and campus boundaries. Your involvement makes us a more effective, democratic, well-informed, and vigorous university. Please download a membership form by clicking here today. Send to Chris Robe’, FAU, CU 215, Boca Raton, FL 33431.

    Have a good summer!

    Chris

    No Comments

  • Apr
    24

    April 24, 2012. “The president has a house and a car and makes so and so millions of dollars. Where’s her cut?” –FAU student Monique Paramore.

    (aired April 23, 2012)

    BOCA RATON, Fla. — Budget cuts at Florida Atlantic University. For weeks teachers and faculty have protested after they found out FAU needed to cut $24.7 million. Those cuts will include satellite campuses, and some summer classes. Monday FAU’s Senior VP of Finance laid out what would be chopped.

    The forum first kicking off with the Vice President of FAU’s Finance Department Dennis Crudele, revealing the budget numbers.

    “We’ve gone from $181 million to $92 million and you can’t take that kind of reduction without having to really look at and assess your core values,” said Crudele.

    After that, going over the budget plan that if approved, would eliminate campuses in Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

    Read more and view video at cbs12.com

    No Comments

  • Apr
    24

    April 24, 2012. Targeted campuses “are not making any profit,” says FAU Vice President for Finance Dennis Crudele

    By Scott Travis

    (April 24, 2012)

    The faculty at Florida Atlantic University are usually united in opposing most budget cuts — unless it involves closing down small campuses.

    A proposal to close the downtown Fort Lauderdale tower and the Treasure Coast campus inPort St. Lucie is alarming to those at the campuses. But many faculty at other campuses see it as a good way to deal with a $10 million budget hole, according to a website FAU created to get ideas on ways to cut the budget. A final decision is expected in June, but most at FAU think the proposals are a done deal.

    “We’re a minority and a very small faculty, and we can’t make a lot of noise,” said Stephanie Cunningham, a graphic design professor at the Fort Lauderdale campus. “And we’re in the last week of classes. We don’t really have the time to organize a protest, and in the summer, there will be so few students on campus.”

    Read more at sunsentinel.com

    No Comments

  • Apr
    13

    April 13, 2012. Nearly a third of summer session classes have been canceled

    (April 12, 2012)

    College students in Florida are getting a real-world lesson in economics as the effects of $300 million in budget cuts are starting to hit home.

    At Florida Atlantic University, nearly a third of classes in the normally bustling summer session have been canceled, after the school took a nearly $25 million hit. Florida International University is deferring some maintenance projects and delaying hiring while the University of Florida has asked its departments to cut about 5 percent from their budgets.

    At the same time, state universities are expected to increase tuition by 15 percent for the fourth year in a row.

    “To have 15 percent increases year after year is unfair to students,” said Ayden Maher, president of FAU’s student government.

    Read more and watch video report at sun-sentinel.com

    No Comments

  • Sep
    14
    September 14, 2011. United Faculty of Florida readies “to fight the changes in how [professors and higher ed professionals will be] expected to do their jobs,” Frank Brogan continues to trumpet his support for plan

    Source: Chronicle of Higher Ed (09/13/11)

    By Audrey Williams June

    In Florida, college professors, presidents and lawmakers are preparing for a vigorous debate about faculty performance, pay, and productivity.

    That’s because Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, has made it clear that he’s looking toward Texas for ideas on how to revamp higher education in his state. In Texas, a controversial plan—backed by Gov. Rick Perry, another Republican, and his allies—proposes to do more to measure faculty productivity, emphasizes teaching over research, and advocates paying faculty members based on their effectiveness.

    Governor Scott, who has spoken publicly in recent weeks about his interest in the Texas proposal, hasn’t yet talked specifics about which pieces of that plan he would push lawmakers to adopt. But he’s actively soliciting feedback on Texas’s “Seven Breakthrough Solutions,” which was written by the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation, a research institute. Just a few of the solutions have been adopted, most of them at Texas A&M University.

    Governor Scott has shared the plan with enough people, including the chancellor of the state university system, the appointees he has made to college governing boards, and the presidents of Florida’s 11 public colleges, to jump-start what is sure to be a lengthy conversation about what kinds of changes should be made.

    The governor’s spokesman, Lane Wright, said that there is no plan in place to make changes in higher education in Florida and that Governor Scott has simply been “talking about his ideas” as a way to generate discussion on the matter. The governor has had no formal talks at this point with legislators about ways to overhaul the system, Mr. Wright said.

    It isn’t yet clear how much traction the governor’s higher-education ideas will get in Florida, but people are taking the push to revamp higher education in the state seriously. The union that represents about 20,000 public university professors and professionals in Florida is gearing up to fight the changes in how they’re expected to do their jobs, which, they say, would ultimately drive talented faculty away from Florida colleges. The Texas-style higher-education proposals are also expected to be discussed during the next legislative session, which begins in January.

    A Counterproposal
    In a move to counter what he saw as major shortcomings of the Texas solutions, a Florida university president has created a detailed alternative, which he calls “Florida Can Do Better Than Texas.”

    Eric J. Barron, president of Florida State University, said he came up with the alternative plan after reading a copy of the Texas plan sent to him by Governor Scott. “My immediate thought was that we can do better,” Mr. Barron said. “I took each of the proposed Texas solutions and did an analysis and then I thought about how they could be stronger.”

    The governor has asked for a copy of the plan, said Mr. Barron, who shared his ideas with his trustees last week.

    Mr. Barron said his plan (which offers eight solutions, instead of seven) ensures that colleges are held responsible for their students’ success, while allowing colleges in the state to “still be on the cutting edge.”

    For instance, the Texas solutions focus on measuring the productivity and effectiveness of faculty by how many students they teach, how highly they are rated on student evaluations, and how many A’s and B’s they award to students. Critics say the Texas model wants colleges to operate like businesses that offer degrees as their main product. But such metrics, Mr. Barron said, could have unintended consequences, among them larger classes that could limit learning and faculty’s pandering to students to positively influence student evaluations.

    A better way to measure efficiency, according to Mr. Barron’s plan, is to look at freshman retention and graduation rates, survey students about their university experience after graduation, test them for how much they know about a subject before and after a course, and calculate cost per student per credit hour. Among other elements of Mr. Barron’s plan are an emphasis on performance-based pay and less weight on student evaluations as a litmus test for awarding tenure.

    Mr. Barron, who is scheduled to discuss his plan at the Faculty Senate meeting this month at Florida State, said he hopes his ideas “start a discussion about what we could do differently in Florida.”

    “My belief is that this plan will get improved as it goes along,” he said, “and hopefully what will emerge is an even stronger document that we can talk about.”

    No Room for Debate?
    But some professors are concerned that the window to discuss the pros and cons of the Texas plan is a narrow one, if it exists at all. The governor’s consistent promotion of the Texas ideas as a possible template doesn’t bode well, they said.

    “He’s already finished the conversation all by himself,” said Tom Auxter, president of the United Faculty of Florida and a professor of philosophy at the University of Florida. Mr. Auxter wrote a letter to union members last week that outlined several challenges the union expects to face when the legislative session begins anew, including the likely reintroduction of bills that would make it harder for public employees to keep their union going. Yet, Mr. Auxter wrote: “The most ominous threat to higher education comes from the governor.”

    “Faculty are talking about this across the state,” Mr. Auxter said in an interview of the governor’s push to consider the Texas ideas in Florida. They’re not against a plan that tries to increase efficiency since it’s clear that “we don’t have enough money to go around,” he said. But at the root of critics’ worry, just as in Texas, is how that efficiency will be achieved.

    “The ideas are often general ideas that people may or may not agree with,” Mr. Auxter said of the Texas plan. “But when you look at the implementation, all the duplicity is in the details.”

    Mr. Auxter and others say that a key component of the Texas solution, its merit-pay plan, would push professors away from Florida colleges. Under the Texas plan, faculty who are top-notch teachers would be given a bonus, but that amount, Mr. Auxter says, would not be added to the base pay that professors get. So the salaries of high-performing faculty wouldn’t increase over the long run.

    Faculty will say, “‘I’m going to have this salary for the rest of my life,’” Mr. Auxter said. “You need people who are on the cutting edge in their research and can teach well. They’re saying you don’t have to invest in talent.”

    Mr. Auxter added that “I think we’re going to have to fight this all year long.”

    Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the State University System of Florida, has met with Governor Scott to discuss the changes the governor has in mind for higher education. Mr. Brogan was not available for comment, according to his spokeswoman. However, he told the News Service of Florida last month that he supports “accountability-based funding,” and thinks that scrutinizing the quality of programs is key. He also acknowledged how fast-moving—and divisive—discussions about overhauling higher education were in Texas and he hopes talks about the issue will take a different tone in Florida, the news service reported.

    The Board of Governors, which oversees public colleges in the state, meets Thursday, and Mr. Brogan is on the agenda. Kelly Layman, a spokeswoman, said Mr. Brogan will give a report, during which he will weigh in on the talk surrounding potential changes in Florida’s higher education system, and will also lead a discussion on national trends in higher education.

    “The Florida Board of Governors is excited that this dialogue is occurring in the context of work it has dedicated itself to the past 18 months on updating our strategic plan through 2025,” Ms. Layman said in an e-mail. “We will build whatever additional performance metrics to our existing annual report the board feels are necessary.”

    ###

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  • Feb
    24

    February 24, 2011. Legislation remains a tax on teachers, public employees, Forces new hires into 401(K) style plan

    (February 23, 2011)                                 Contact: Mark Pudlow, 850.201.3223 or 850.508.9756

    TALLAHASSEE – Changes made in a Senate committee Tuesday to a proposal that would introduce sweeping changes into pension plans for public employees throughout Florida represent a slightly positive change, the Florida Education Association said today. But teachers, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, other school employees, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other state workers still face a tax on their earnings under the proposal.

    Further, the proposed legislation still forces all new employees into the defined contribution plan – a 401(k)-style plan. Closing the current defined benefit pan and forcing employees toward the investment plan will cost the system significant sums of money. This is an additional hidden cost of these proposals.

    Florida is already contemplating slashing the education budget, which will lead to decreased salaries and benefits. Piling on this pension reduction hits school employees yet again.

    None of these proposed changes have been voted on by the committee and are scheduled to be discussed Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

    “These so-called pension reforms, even with the proposed improvement, remains a tax on every teacher in Florida as well as thousands of other public employees around the state,” said FEA President Andy Ford. “While these hardworking Floridians are struggling to educate our children and protect our communities, the absolute last thing Tallahassee politicians need to be doing is balancing the budget by imposing a new tax on educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses.”

    Ford also noted that requiring public employees to contribute any of their pay to their retirement fund while Florida cuts education budgets and salaries would mean that money would come right out of local communities throughout Florida at a time when the economy is still struggling to recover from a long downturn.

    The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 140,000 members. FEA represents pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational support professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.

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  • Jan
    25

    January 25, 2011. “When you get past the anecdotal eye-openers, the numbers don’t show a big, rich public trough for public retirees.”

    Tallahassee Democrat
    (Jan 24, 2011)
    Bill Cotterell
    Notebook

    Link to original article.

    There’s an old joke in newsrooms — at least, I hope it’s said jokingly — about not letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Elected leaders do that, too, but they’re not joking. Ronald Reagan once said “facts are stupid things.” Maybe he meant “stubborn things,” but he was right either way — truth just is what it is, unyielding and unresponsive to what we’d like.

    The 2011 legislative session is going to make major changes in the Florida Retirement System. A lot of the new rules will be based on cold, hard fact — namely, money — but much impetus for these changes will come from feel-good political motives.

    There’s a perception that public pensions are far too generous and that the FRS is in great financial peril. But the fund is sound, despite some investment losses in the great market collapse of 2008-09. And if you look closely at the greed stories about some 48-year-old cop retiring with a six-figure pension, or retiree health-care costs gobbling up city and county tax revenues, you’ll notice that they occur in other states.

    Most frequent examples come from California, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. And in Florida, when you hear about cities staggering under the weight of massive pension burdens, those cities are not members of the FRS.

    When you get past the anecdotal eye-openers, the numbers don’t show a big, rich public trough for public retirees. While it’s true that some retire with generous benefits — especially in the “special risk” class of firefighters, police and prison officers — they earn it.

    It’s also true that a lot of the local governments now unable to afford their obligations got in trouble by bargaining away future health and pension benefits. It may have been done by previous administrations but, many times, the cities avoided giving big pay raises today by promising big benefits in retirement — and their successors now see the bill coming due.

    The Florida Education Association rebutted some popular pension myths at a meeting of the Senate Government Oversight and Accountability Committee on Jan. 12. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is scheduled to do it again this week.

    The average state-employee salary in the FRS regular class is $36,423, according to the FEA figures. That’s the lowest of the six groups in the FRS, which includes school boards, universities, counties, cities and community colleges.

    For the school boards, the average teacher’s retirement check is $1,868 a month. For secretaries, it’s $1,271 — and that’s based on 30 years of service.

    Drawing figures from the state’s Annual Workforce Report, AFSCME calculated that the typical Career Service employee in the regular class has an average FRS benefit of $970 a month. That’s based on 21 years of service, the average, since not many state workers go the full 30.

    State retirees also get a health-insurance subsidy of $5 a month for each year of service, capped at $150. But since the average career is 21 years, it works out to $105 a month. AFSCME calculates that monthly health premiums are $549 for single retirees and $1,243 for family coverage — so, on average, a $970 pension and $105 health subsidy leaves $526 a month for single people and $168 for a couple.

    AFSCME also notes that, under new federal rules, the average FRS retiree in the regular class is eligible for Medicaid, because the average pension of $11,642 is well below the $14,404 income threshold for the federal program.

    All of which is to say, the FRS is not just bursting with lifetime free rides. Legislators will change things, because money is tight and about 12 percent of their constituents seeking jobs can’t find any at all.

    First, the FRS is entirely employer-paid. Forget that one. Gov. Rick Scott said during his campaign that Florida is the only state in which employees don’t chip in to their pension pot, and the Senate last year tried to require a quarter-percent contribution. It looks like a sure thing this year — at a lot more than a quarter-percent.

    Sooner or later — probably sooner — all new employees will be offered 401(k)-style “defined contribution” pension plans, rather than the traditional defined benefit system. Why? Because the DC plan is more like private-sector pensions, employees manage their own investments, and it’s portable so workers can take their holdings with them when they go to another job.

    Ex-Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a reduction in the 6-percent interest rate paid on pent-up pensions in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. Scott won’t veto such a cut, which is probably the second most-likely change to pass the Legislature.

    Another idea is to lower the special risk retirement credit, now 3 percent a year, or to restrict it to officers who face dangers on the job every day — like police, firefighters and prison officers. There’s a wide range of others in the criminal justice system with special-risk status now.

    Instead of calculating pensions on an employee’s “high five” earning years, they could start averaging the best 10 years — or even the employee’s salary over a whole career. The practice of “spiking” pensions by counting overtime will probably come to an end, too.

    Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, chairman of the Senate committee, says “everything is on the table.” But he’s taking a cautious approach, waiting for thorough actuarial studies of every idea.

    That’s harder than just buying into the popular presumption of greedy employees gorging on lavish pension plans — which makes a good story, until the facts get in the way.

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